Freedom Writers Journal Entries RJ #1: Many of the students in this film hate their classmates who are of a different

race. However, they are ignorant of each other’s stories and backgrounds. Have you ever been a victim of this kind of judgement? How does it feel? Have you also ever judged someone else unfairly? Why or why not? What was the end result? RJ #2: Rodney King’s beating was the spark that lit the fire, but what do you think was the underlying cause of the riots? Do you think the riots were justified? Why or why not? Who do you think was the ultimate victim of these riots? RJ #3: Freedom Writers uses a lot of music to help convey the message of the film. Were there any songs that you recognized or that stood out to you? Why? What songs, if any, do you think represent you, or are songs that you can identify with and why? RJ #4: Racism, riots, and discrimination: why does it continue? What do you think makes people continue to be racist, or continue to discriminate against others? Why is it so hard to change our perceptions and beliefs? What can we do to stop these? RJ #5: Miep Gies, the daughter of the family that sheltered Anne Frank, is the ‘hero’ of one of the students. She says that all the kids are heroes. Why do you think she says this? What qualities make a hero, and who is the hero of the film? Who are your heroes, and why? RJ #6: Which elements of Freedom Writers did you find most interesting or significant? What does this film have in common with other films? What is different about Freedom Writers? RJ #7: Freedom Writers explores the idea of ‘moral responsibility:’ the responsibility of each and every person to ‘do the right thing.’ Do you think moral responsibility exists in our world today? Why or why not? What personal responsibilities do you have? What moral responsibilities do you have? RJ #8: Many of the characters in the film show moral courage and do the right thing even when it will cost them something, such as Eva when she tells the truth in court, and Miep Gies, who protected Anne Frank at risk to herself. What other situations can you think of where someone can show moral courage? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to show moral courage? Explain. RJ #9: Bullying is rampant in Freedom Writers. Not only do the students bully each other and Mrs. Gruwell, but Mrs. Gruwell is also bullied somewhat by her husband and her father to stop teaching. Mrs. Gruwell also makes the connection between the small-scale bullying in the classroom and the Nazis trying to control and exterminate the Jews and other groups of Europe. Have you ever been a bully? Have you ever been bullied? How does it feel to be bullied or to be a bully? Write specifically about your thought and feelings for each situation. RJ #10: The students learn about Nazi Germany by reading Anne Frank’s diary. Can you relate to Anne Frank’s diary or her concerns? What do you think makes Anne Frank’s diary so special?